Lysol parent sprayed referee during Colorado hockey game

Ron Groothedde was officiating a teenage game in Vail when an angry parent sprayed Lysol in his face.

DENVER – Colorado is losing referees. From youth sports to adult leagues, the number of returning officials is dwindling.

Ron Groothedde is an ice hockey official along the Colorado Front Range and has some idea of ​​why these numbers are dropping. He has been in the officiating business for almost 25 years, covering over 6,000 games.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, he’s got hockey in his blood, and at 64, he’s still lacing up his skates and following the puck. He officiated from small ankle benders to professionals. He’s seen a lot of crazy things on the ice and in the stands, but nothing quite like what happened to Vail on November 6 after refereeing a game played by the Bantams.

A parent sprayed Lysol on her face after the game.

“He grabs a big box, an industrial-sized box of Lysol, which they use to clean all the clocks and scoring equipment for different teams, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to throw it at me. . And I went to I put my hands up, but instead of throwing them at me, he misted me right in the face, “Groothedde said.

The police intervened and a report was filed. Police said Aliaksei Khatsianevich, 43, was arrested for harassment. He received a summons and was released at the scene.

Groothedde believes very strongly that there is simply a lack of respect – a lack of respect for referees on the part of parents and coaches that ends up spilling over to the players.

“I would use it as a teaching moment. I wouldn’t even ask her what was on her mind. I would say, ‘You know what? It’s time for you to grow up. It’s time for you to realize that it’s not You should encourage your kids, ”Groothedde said.

Most of the games are going well. Hear Ron talk about being an umpire in Colorado.

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Catherine J. Martinez